Greek law enforcers have received a warning of a plan to assassinate Alexander Vinnik who has been held in prison on suspicion of running a large-scale money laundering operation using bitcoins, as reported to RIA Novosti reporter by a source familiar with the situation.
Vinnik is held in prison in Thessaloniki, Greece. According to the mentioned source, he was meant to be killed with the aid from certain “criminal elements”.
“This is a purely criminal case,” – the source specified, while adding that the trail leads to Russia.
The police managed to prevent the assassination thanks to a timely piece of “operational information”. The failed assassination plan presupposed the use of tactile posion that was to be rubbed in the prisoner’s clothes and personal belongings.
Prison director and city prosecutor then told the prisoner of what had happened while taking special security measures. He is now placed under tight security, forbidden to take anything from anyone and to buy food and water in the prison canteen.
The assassination attempt has much to do with a written confession he had recently written to the Russian authorities, admitting his involvement in the offences imputed on him and expressing the willingness to testify on the financial crimes. “Very large sums” and “a wide range of actors” are involved, according to the source.
Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July, 2017, following a request from U.S. special services. Washington has been accusing the Russian of laundering 4 to 9 billion dollars through BTC-E cryptocurrency exchange. He is facing up to 55 years in prison. Vinnik does not admit his guilt and calls it all a provocation on the part of the USA.